Isle where Onassis wed Jacqueline Kennedy bought by Russian

Moscow, April 16 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A Russian billionaire has bought a piece of romantic history for his family. He purchased the island where Aristotle Onassis wedded Jacqueline Kennedy, the former American first lady, in 1968.

Dmitry Rybolovlev paid $100 million for the island of Skorpios in the Ionian Sea, the Greek daily Kathimerini said.

He also obtained the small nearby islet Tsokari, the newspaper said.

The islands were put up for sale by Onassis’s 28-year-old granddaughter Athena Onassis Roussel.

Skorpios has three houses, a helicopter pad and a mooring berth and costs 1.5 million euro ($2 million) a year to maintain, Forbes Russia said.

The islands were previously eyed by Roman Abramovich, Bill Gates and Madonna, though none of them went ahead with the purchase, the report said.

Shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis bought Skorpios in 1963, five years before his marriage to John F. Kennedy’s widow. The tycoon was buried on the island after his death in 1975, as were his son and daughter.

The nominal purchaser in the Rybolovlev deal was a trust representing the Russian tycoon’s 24-year-old daughter Ekaterina, reports said.

Forbes Russia, which put Rybolovlev’s fortune at $9.1 billion, said the Russian businessman avoids purchasing assets in his own name because of an ongoing divorce.

The family seems fond of real estate, however — Rybolovlev bought a Florida mansion from Donald Trump for $95 million in 2008; his daughter purchased New York’s then-most expensive apartment on Manhattan for $88 million in 2011; and in February the media also named him as the new owner of Will Smith’s Hawaiian villa, for which Rybolovlev reportedly paid $20 million.

Rybolovlev, 46, made his fortune through Uralkali, Russia’s biggest producer of potash fertilizer. He sold his stake in the company in 2010, investing instead in football club AS Monaco and the now-flagging Bank of Cyprus.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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